Have you been involved in an auto accident? Were you or your passenger injured? Was there substantial damage?
The first thing you should do is get to a safe place and stay put. If you require serious medical attention, call 911. Then, call the police and report the accident. Be sure to exchange contact information with all other drivers involved. But say nothing more; especially, do not admit fault. Do not talk with the other parties involved until one of our lawyers at Springs Law Group is at your side.
Do not delay. Whether or not you caused the accident, contact one of our Colorado Springs auto accident attorneys at Springs Law Group immediately. We can help you with an auto accident lawsuit.
We specialize in personal injury law. By hiring Springs Law Group to represent you in a court of law, you make sure your legal rights are protected. And if you are entitled to payment for damages, we make sure you get every penny you deserve. Call us now for a free initial consultation. We can discuss your case confidentially in-person or over the phone.
Quick Fact About Auto Accidents
Did you know that car accidents are the leading cause of injury in America? That’s right, simply driving down the road might be the most dangerous thing you ever do. Furthermore, not only are car accidents the leading cause of injury, they also result in lawsuits in many cases.
When Should I Seek a Lawyer for an Auto Accident?
You don’t have to hire a lawyer in order to file a personal injury claim. However, it’s a good idea to have someone who understands the legal process on your side. Keep in mind that big auto insurance companies have thousands of lawyers on their side to fight for them. Their jobs depend on keeping the insurance companies from having to pay out on claims when possible. In other cases, they work hard to pay as little as possible on each claim.
Personal injury lawyers—like our professionals at Springs Law Group—are your advocates. We fight for your rights during a car accident suit. As for when you should hire a lawyer, usually the sooner the better. As soon as you decide you want to make a claim after a car accident, contact us. Even if you aren’t sure, you can come in for a free consultation and we can give you an overview of the process.
As a general rule, it’s wise to hire a personal injury lawyer if any of the following are true:
- You suffered injuries in your accident. Even if it starts as a simple stiff neck, the stiffness could be a sign of greater problems. Car accident injuries are often life-altering, and could affect your ability to work, socialize, exercise, sleep, participate in your favorite hobbies, and even perform ordinary chores for the rest of your life.
- You have unpaid medical bills or believe you’ll have future unpaid medical bills. Medical care is expensive and only gets more expensive as technology advances and lawmakers fight over health care bills. Many injury victims don’t realize that there are more options than just health insurance for getting medical bills paid—options that don’t even involve suing.
- You are missing work because of your injuries. Whether it’s because you can’t go, have weight or moving restrictions, have to leave often for doctor’s appointments, leave early because of pain, or have trouble concentrating because of pain or other injury, missing work can take a toll on your finances and job security.
- You have significant cuts or broken bones. Injuries that don’t heal all the way and permanently alter the way your face or another body part looks or works can have a negative impact on your future.
- You feel pressured by the insurance company to settle. Insurance companies don’t make money by being fair and generous, and they will do what they can to convince you to settle for less than your claim is worth.
Are My Injuries Severe Enough for a Claim?
The outcome of your claim will greatly depend on the severity of your injuries. There are three main elements that you should take into consideration when judging whether or not your injury is severe enough to merit a claim:
- The type of injury. If your injury is significant enough to alter your life, this is a severe injury.
- The recovery time. Another element to consider is how long it will take you to recover from your injuries. When you figure out how much time you will stay in recovery, you can estimate the amount of money you will lose due to your inability to work.
- The costs. Medical bills for virtually anything are astronomical. However, the cost of care for a severe injury goes above and beyond even that. Not only should you consider the medical bills you owe right now, but also figure how much you will spend in the future to complete your recovery.
Types of Damages You Should Consider in a Car Lawsuit:
There are several types of damages you can claim in a car accident lawsuit. The following are some examples:
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages are designed to compensate you for the negative mental effects of your injuries caused by the pain of your injuries and other mental strain.
- Lost wages, past and future.
- Medical expenses.
- Property damage.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the other driver rather than just compensate you. They can be awarded when the other driver’s actions were especially reckless or malicious
- Emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and others
What Does an Auto Accident Lawyer Do?
As mentioned above, an auto accident lawyer advocates for you, whether it is in making a claim against an insurance company, or fighting for your rights in a lawsuit. The following are more specific duties our lawyers at Springs Law Group fulfill in each case or claim:
- We communicate with the other driver’s insurance company.
- We collect, organize, and summarize all your bills and medical records.
- We communicate with your health care providers to get any additional records they need.
- We work alongside your doctors and other healthcare providers to ensure they provide the correct medical information in your claim.
- We present your evidence in order to prove liability and seek compensation for damages.
- We negotiate with lienholders, such as disability, health or workers’ compensation insurers, Medicare, or Medicaid in order to reduce the amount you’re required to pay back out of your settlement or jury award.
- We negotiate a settlement with either a defense attorney or an insurance adjuster, whether through informal negotiations or mediation.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
How much you can expect to pay an accident lawyer varies. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. This means they don’t get paid until you receive your settlement.
Because contingency fee lawyers don’t get paid unless you get paid, their contingency fee rates are usually based on the amount of risk the lawyer is accepting when he or she takes your case. In addition, the fee is based on the total amount they recover, which means the more money they get for you, the more they are paid.
Another advantage of contingency fees is that you do not have to pay the lawyer as you go, so there is no need for a retainer, monthly billing invoices, or other out-of-pocket expenses until you settle or get a jury award. Usually, contingency fees range from 25 to 50 percent of your settlement or jury award, depending on the riskiness of your case and the expected amount of time your case will take to resolve.
What Happens in an Auto Accident Lawsuit?
An auto accident lawsuit is considered a personal injury lawsuit. As such, it is a civil case. These cases usually follow the same path towards conclusion. They begin by filing a complaint in the appropriate court, usually (but not always) in the county where you live, depending on the facts of your accident. Your complaint will outline the allegations you are making against the other driver. It will also state how you plan to prove your case and what relief you will seek.
The other driver is typically represented by his insurance company’s lawyers. They respond to the lawsuit in the form of an “answer.” They can either admit or deny your allegations or state that they don’t have enough information yet to admit or deny them. This step can also involve counterclaims. You get a trial date set by the court. In Colorado, you can expect your trial date to be a year or more out.
In addition, you will be required to participate in mediation. This is where your attorney and the defendant’s attorneys meet with a third-party mediator who tries to broker a settlement between the two sides. The idea is to come to an agreement so that trial isn’t necessary.
Lawsuits also have a discovery phase, which usually happens before mediation, but can vary, depending on the facts of your case. During the discovery phase, each side investigates facts, using tools such as informal interviews, written questions, medical examinations, depositions, requests for production of documents, and other investigational devices. There are also many rules dictating the sharing of information between the parties during this period.
After this, you can move into a post-discovery resolution. This means you file a motion for summary judgment. Your lawyer might do this if the evidence you gathered supports your request for compensation. If you do this, the judge can rule on the case without having to see the witnesses or conduct a trial. If you don’t go the motion-for-summary-judgment route, your case will eventually go to trial.
Get Legal Help Now
As you can see, a car accident lawsuit is not a simple process. That is why we at Springs Law Group recommend you let us guide you through the arduous process. We know all the tricks the defense uses in order to sabotage your case. We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.